A Gay Man Speaks Out on Partying, Party and Club Drugs, and HIV
Cass Mann, an HIV-positive gay man and the founder of UKâs only gay menâs HIV/AIDS charity Positively Healthy (http://www.posh-uk.org.uk/), talks about the role that partying and party and club drugs play in contributing to the spread of HIV. Depression and anxiety often contribute to people contracting HIV, but so does partying. People often contract HIV when they are on drugs and partying. Drugs used in clubs while partying increase the risk that people will have unprotected sex. People sometimes even experience a sense of inevitability that they WILL contract HIV, therefore they don't take steps to avoid contracting HIV. People sometimes even long for the sense of finality that comes with contracting HIV because then they feel (erroneously) that the "other shoe has dropped" and they no longer need worry about contracting HIV. (In reality, even once HIV positive they will still need to practice safer sex to avoid infecting others, superinfecting themselves with additional drug-resistant strains of HIV, or coinfection with other STIs.) The HIV epidemic and the explosion of recreational drug use has proceeded in tandem. Positively Healthy even got one form of Poppers, Amyl Nitrate/Nitrite, banned in the United Kingdom in 1996, but regrettably chemical analogs continue to be used. Drug use can contribute to the progression of HIV infection towards clinical AIDS. Ecstasy is a disinhibitor contributing to unsafe sex. Crystal Methamphetamine leads to depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies. We are recreating the same conditions today that led to the AIDS epidemic in the first place, but we're doing it 25 years after the epidemic first started. For more information, visit http://www.posh-uk.org.uk/ and http://www.AIDSvideos.org/.